Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Learning to write again

As I've tried and tried to blog, I've become very frustrated. I have several posts that are in process, yet to be published. Why aren't they published? Because I can no longer write.
I used to write. I think that I used to write well. I used to dream of being an author. Writing children's books or short stories. I used to believe that I had a novel some where in me.

I would write for hours. I had notebooks filled with poetry -- mostly adolescent angst. I loved to journal, though I was never very consistent with it.

Now, I have a hard time putting words into sentences. I can't seem to put my thoughts down on paper. I have a couple of ideas why I can no longer write.

First, I'm out of practice. I've spent the last 10 years writing code. It's simple. It's logical. It flows. It's like a writing a recipe. This part has to come before that part. There is no transition necessary. It's all nicely put together with curly braces and semi-colons. There is no question about whether or not I need a comma. If it's not syntactically correct, it doesn't compile. It's easy, and it's not all that creative.

Second, I stopped reading. And I love to read. I love to read almost anything. I would read until the wee hours of the morning. I would read and read and I wouldn't stop, not until the last page was turned. I didn't get any sleep. So, I made myself stop reading. A couple of years ago, I started reading again. (Goodnight room. Goodnight moon. Goodnight cow jumping over the moon...) And while Goodnight Moon is an excellent book -- one of my personal favorites -- it isn't exactly stimulating for me.

I want to be a better writer. I want to encourage my boys to love reading. So, I've decided to read more. I'm going to dedicate some time to myself during the day to read and write. I'll use my blog as a test ground for my writing.

Bear with me. Hopefully, it will get better.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Teeth are not for biting

I have two wonderful two year old boys.  Each has their own strengths.  We've recently discovered that one of Monkey's strength lies in his jaws.  For the last week, he has bitten Moose at least once a night after being put to bed, as well as biting another little guy in nursery on Sunday.  I worry if that behavior continues, my Relief Society attendance will return to pre-nursery levels.  One bite on Moose's arm drew blood and the bruise still remains.

"No bite" and being sepearted from play during the day hasn't seemed to help, exept when he's caught during the lunge.  I wasn't sure what to do when the biting occurred with the door closed and the lights out.  Until my wonderful sister, who has three boys of her own, recommended the book Teeth Are Not for Biting by Elizabeth Verdick.   After I got off the phone with her, I immediately got online and reserved a copy at my local library.  The next night, after Monkey bit Moose yet again, I told him sternly, "Teeth are not for biting, teeth are for eating apples and crackers."  This, he seemed to understand. 

I picked up the book at the library this afternoon and the boys love it.  I think I've read it 8 times this evening.  The words, "Teeth are not for biting. Ouch! Biting hurts." seem to resonate with both boys.  Monkey looks with concern at an illustration of a crying girl who was bitten.  Though, Moose yells "No!" and smacks the image of the boy who did the biting. (I think we'll have to work on hitting next.)  The illustrations by Marieka Heinlen are bright and cute.

Hopefully, it will help in our home. We also picked up Tails Are Not for Pulling by the same author.  I think our family dog will appreciate it.